So why the rush to boost finfish aquaculture?
There’s a commonly touted misconception that the more people eat wild stocks, the more pressure we will put on those stocks and the more quickly they will collapse.
But in well-managed fisheries, market demand does not increase biomass and, therefore, does not increase fishing effort.
What we should focus on is minimizing bycatch, allowing fishermen to land their reduced bycatch, maximizing onboard processing so we can eat wild fish in and out of season, and marketing so-called trash fish.
I don’t think wild fish is likely to fill the gap that imported seafood fills now, but it could go a long way toward feeding our citizens with our own healthy, wild seafood while simultaneously boosting port communities by securing infrastructure and jobs.
We’ve seen what can happen when the federal government gets behind a program like catch shares. Now let’s see them get behind a movement to feed America with the best we have to offer.